A comparison of application-level and router-assisted hierarchical schemes for reliable multicast


One approach to achieving scalability in reliable multicast is to use a hierarchy. A hierarchy can be established at the application level, or by using router-assist. With router-assist we have more fine-grain control over the placement of error-recovery functionality, therefore, a hierarchy produced by assistance from the routers is expected to have better performance. In this paper, we test this hypothesis by comparing two schemes, one that uses an application-level hierarchy (ALH) and another that uses router-assisted hierarchy (RAH). Contrary to our expectations, we find that the qualitative performance of ALH is comparable to RAH. We do not model the overhead of creating the hierarchy nor the cost of adding router-assist to the network. Therefore, our conclusions inform rather than close the debate of which approach is better. © 2004 IEEE.

Publication Title

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking